Victoria, Mahe (Seychelles) – July 15, 2019 (travelindex.com) – The well known and popular Patrick Victor has been proposed as Ambassador at Large for Seychelles. Though the confirmation of the appointment has been rejected by the National Assembly of Seychelles, the people of the islands by a large majority continue to welcome Patrick Victor’s proposed appointment. “We can say what we want about the man, but Patrick Victor is indeed our very own John Lennon of Seychelles” was the copy of one of the public posts forwarded to us.
A Seychellois Islander will always work hard for his island and one as committed as Patrick Victor could only do good as a representative of the island.
Is it not better for Seychelles to let Seychellois, immaterial of their political belief and leaning, work for Seychelles and do away for once and for all with the ‘with us and not with us’ plague that continues to destroy our islands?
Seychelles punching above it’s weight – an army of working at no cost for its tourism
Seychelles has been recognised for leaving no stone unturned when its tourism industry was concerned. As Minister responsible for Tourism, it was the island’s economy and the consolidation of the Seychelles Tourism, that remained my priority. To succeed, it was important to innovate and remain ahead of the pack. The budget allocated to tourism has never been enough, and Finance Principal Secretaries failed to appreciate the need to nurture the industry that is, and that will remain, the Pillar of the island’s economy. The Seychelles Ministry responsible for Tourism thinking outside the box brought an army of ‘foot soldiers’ to think Seychelles Tourism and to work ‘free of charge’ for Seychelles Tourism.
The call for Seychellois to claim back its tourism industry resulted in hundreds of Seychellois Islanders investing in their very own tourism industry and becoming operators of small home grown properties (hotels and guest houses) or tourism supporting facilities. This assured the long term support of tourism by the Seychellois who had become, in large numbers, owners of their industry. The drive then to consolidate the Seychelles Tourism Industry saw the appointment of three blocks of voluntary workers join the call we made from Seychelles, namely:- Tourism Ambassadors, Cultural Ambassadors and Friends of Seychelles – Press.
The Seychelles Tourism Ambassadors program was launched and became a valuable resource for Seychelles tourism as they are, in each and every case, Seychellois nationals living across the globe who are very familiar with their country of residence and who enjoy a very wide network of social and business contacts. With their extensive local knowledge and wide range of contacts, they are in an excellent position to support, and sometimes spearhead, Seychelles’ promotional campaigns and initiatives.
It was way back in 2010 when this program was launched that 14 Seychellois were named as the country’s new tourism ambassadors overseas, that Vice President Belmont stated that the new Tourism partnership was bearing fruit. Mr Belmont – who was also the then minister responsible for tourism – said this during the 2010 Seychelles Tourism Marketing Meeting held at the International Conference Centre.
The forum was also addressed by President James Michel, Seychelles’ tourism marketing director Alain St Ange, Air Seychelles’ executive chairman Captain David Savy – also a member of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) – and the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association chairman Louis D’Offay.
Mr Belmont told the tourism representatives: “We have seen encouraging progress with regards to the industry, and your strong presence here today at this official launch of the 2010 Tourism Marketing Meeting shows your commitment to ensuring the industry continues to grow, and I am confident this support will continue in the crucial months ahead.” He said with tourism still at the forefront of our economy, we all need to work together for the future. “And I take this opportunity to reassure you, our tourism trade, that I will continue to drive the government policies that make for a vibrate tourism sector,” he added.
95 Seychellois Tourism Ambassadors were named in 30 countries worldwide to help consolidate the island’s tourism industry
Seychelles is the first country to have taken the initiative of appointing its citizens as tourism ambassadors all over the world and their role is to assist in the promotion of Seychelles as a tourism destination in tandem with the country’s marketing team and overseas tourist offices. That program fell under the title tag line, “Once a Seychellois, always a Seychellois.”
“The tourism ambassadors are like consuls, but here only to promote and continuously help develop Seychelles as the tourist destination,” I said at the launch of the program. “They now have their own newsletter, email addresses, and soon they will have their own forum on the popular social network Facebook to exchange ideas and update each other on their activities.” before stressing the point that all Seychellois living abroad are natural ambassadors of their country of birth. They are well-known in their countries of residence, and their network of contacts and local knowledge will be invaluable tools in promoting Seychelles as a tourism destination across the globe.
Following the success of the Seychelles Tourism Ambassadors that was reserved for Seychellois only, a second program was instigated, again on a totally voluntary basis for well know foreign artists and tourism professionals who were ready to dedicate time, resources and energy for the promotion of Seychelles in their country of residence.
This program saw some influential personalities get involved, such as the Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman. The music maestro has sent out his love and regard to the people and government of the foreign nation.
A two-time Oscar winning composer, Rahman shared an image of the certificate, on the micro-blogging site. “With love and regards to the people and government of Seychelles,” he captioned the picture. The certificate reads: “The Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture proudly names A.R. Rahman Cultural Ambassador for Seychelles in appreciation for the invaluable services contributed to enhance Seychelles’s Art and Cultural development.”
Friends of Seychelles – Press
Following in the footsteps of the two voluntary programs working well for the Seychelles Tourism Industry (Tourism Ambassador & Cultural Ambassador) a third program, “The Friends of Seychelles – Press” was set in motion in a bid to help the visibility of the islands for the benefit of its tourism industry.
Friends of Seychelles-Press, is an association whose ranks are swelling, which in itself indicates that we are achieving greater outreach in our efforts to gain greater visibility on the international stage,” I said at a tourism trade fair as I welcomed new members of the press fraternity to the program.
Press from the four corners of the world reported that this innovative move by Seychelles has been making news right around the world as the mid-ocean islands of the Seychelles continue to surprise the press fraternity with its commitment to sustain this appealing grouping of press personalities.
At the Seychelles Investment Forum in South Africa press reported:- “Another member of the international press was welcomed into the fold of “Friends of Seychelles – Press” by Alain St.Ange, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, during the Seychelles Investment Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Mr. St.Ange invited the newest member of “Friends of Seychelles-Press,” Mr. Isaac Mangena of e-News Africa, to the forum to receive his certificate of membership and to be recognized by all present for his work in helping to raise the profile of the islands in the international press.
Isaac Mangena is the second TV personality from South Africa to be accredited to this unique grouping. At the 2011 Seychelles “Carnaval International de Victoria” held earlier this year, Masechaba Lekalake, the very popular SABC TV personality from South Africa was presented with her “Friends of Seychelles-Press” accreditation certificate in the ceremony following the Seychelles Carnival’s press briefing.
Call made for Africa to look for SG of UNWTO as Minister Najib Balala is named as potential candidate
The IATA Regional Aviation Forum in Accra Ghana which was convened under the theme “Aviation: Business for Regional Prosperity” and brought together more than 150 distinguished tourism and aviation leaders saw a call for Africa to organise itself in order to se someone from the continent get elected in the next UNWTO elections for the position of Secretary General.
The call was made to loud applause during one of the panel discussions when a prominent press personality raised the circumstances surrounding the 2017 UNWTO elections and questioned where Africa’s bid to head the UNWTO was after the Seychelles and Zimbabwe bid ended in disaster once the Seychelles Government had withdrawn its own bid but two days before the May 2017 elections.
The name of Najib Balala the SG Tourism for Kenya is the name that was floated as the possible candidate from the Continent of Africa with its 10 votes in the elections. Everyone present agreed that this subject needed to be put of Africa’s Tourism Agenda.